This module is a one-page case study on Butlins, a seaside camp and party planning company in the United Kingdom. The case explores Butlins’ attempts at diversifying its market segments as a means to remain competitive in the UK holiday resort industry.
Type of Material:
The module could be utilized as either an individual assignment or an in-class exercise/group activity.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
The goals of this module are to illustrate and discuss competitive advantage and diversification of markets.
Target Student Population:
The module is appropriate for high school aged or older students. It can be utilized in most any marketing course, but is most appropriate to Principles, Services Marketing, International Marketing or Product Development.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
A basic understanding of Principles should be sufficient for completing this module.
Evaluation and Observation
The case illustrates the struggles one company has had with remaining current, and shows its attempt at recreating an advantage through market diversification. Though it is short and likely not entirely complete, it does provide enough information for discussion and points the student towards the company website for additional research. The questions posed at the end of the case are routed in the discipline and the case is current enough that it offers a good, relevant illustration of the topic. The module is flexible enough to be used at-home or in-class, and is appropriate for multiple marketing courses such as Principles, Services and International Marketing.
The module is designed as a case study and therefore presumes that the student will understand the concepts illustrated. While the module is flexible enough to be used as an at-home or in-class assignment, it does not provide a means for feedback to the end-of-case questions and therefore requires some follow-up by the instructor. The authors should have taken the time to write a detailed case and have the website as a supplement instead of the focal point. Competitors’ websites should be highlighted and industry background provided.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The case is based on a central concept in marketing, and is therefore useful in multiple situations and/or courses. Though there is no lead-in to the topics addressed, a basic foundation of marketing is all that is needed to make this assignment useful. The aspect of hospitality/entertainment is relatable, even if the student has had no prior knowledge of this company. If the case is approached as a means to measure understanding of the topic (rather than as a means to teach the topic), it can be a very efficient teaching tool.
The module includes all of the information and/or access to what is needed for the ending questions, but it does not provide a means for feedback. Additionally, the case concerns a UK company and includes some terminology that may not be familiar to a US audience, i.e. dodgem, Ibiza, etc. This does not seem to terribly hinder the understanding of what is addressed, however the instructor may wish to provide some additional document by way of explanation. Students should have more access to background material (e.g., interviews with company principles and marketing directors). Even the questions posed to students lack detail. Instead of starting with a SWOT, they ask for one advantage and disadvantage.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
Website is professionally done and detailed with strong testimonials and package details. The case is very short, but provides good enough fodder for conversation on the topic. The company/industry is relatable, and the case questions are easily understandable. The module can easily be printed/posted for student use, and the additional research can be accessed quickly with an Internet connection.
This case is not sufficiently developed to serve as a full case study assignment. Greater detail, background information, and content is needed for it to be considered a fully developed and viable case study.